Unraveling the mysteries of our psyche is never easy. Deep-seated emotions hide within us and drive our behaviors, without us even realizing it. This is a phenomenon that plays out in the connection between childhood trauma and addiction
Studies suggest that childhood traumas play a statistically significant role in the nation’s problems with substance abuse. No matter when or how it happened, trauma can cause mood disorders, such as agitation, anxiety, depression, and a lack of self-esteem and confidence – precursors to addiction.
Childhood Trauma and Addiction
Research establishes an undeniable link between childhood trauma and addiction. A study of almost 600 patients at a hospital in Atlanta reported various rates of addiction to certain substances — 45 percent of respondents reported lifetime use of marijuana; 40 percent used alcohol in the long-term; 34 percent used cocaine. The report on this study quotes a separate study showing that adolescents with sexual abuse or assault were “three times more likely to report past or current substance abuse than those without.”
The trauma referenced here has a broad definition. Incidents can include:
- Sexual assault
- Physical assault
- Domestic violence
- Emotional abuse
- Parent neglect or abuse
- Car crashes
Childhood trauma and addiction make up a potent combination for the individual and society at large. Trauma therapy can help.
Basics of Trauma Therapy
Trauma therapy is a specialized branch of therapy. It seeks to help patients better understand the role of the traumatic event in their lives and provide support for building stronger, healthier coping skills. Ultimately the goal is to help patients dig deep, process their emotions around the trauma, and address negative memories.
The goal of all therapy programs is to enable a patient to feel that he or she has a safe space where they can talk about their thoughts, feelings, and actions. It isn’t a place where a therapist creates or imposes a solution; rather, it exists to provide you the tools to solve problems yourself, or just to cope with them better.
The link between childhood trauma and addiction makes trauma therapy that much more important. Trauma therapy doesn’t have to focus on events of recent vintage; it covers experiences from way back.
Success in therapy is crucial to breaking the dependence on drugs or alcohol. Get the help you need and deserve today.
How Treatment and Therapy Relate
Trauma therapy to address childhood trauma and addiction is just one aspect of drug rehab and treatment. And while therapy may initially focus on the specific trauma, it will extend to address other aspects of life that could be very important in helping you break free of substance abuse.
Treatment most often starts with a thorough clinical evaluation to help doctors understand the basics of your medical and physical health.
Using information from that evaluation, doctors will map out a detailed treatment program. The first step in treatment will be detox, where you are closely supervised as you cease using drugs or alcohol.
Counseling comes next, followed by aftercare. In aftercare, you will receive access to resources, such as 12-step programs, that will help reduce the risk of relapse. Childhood trauma and addiction is a difficult combination, but good treatment can provide a way out.
Recovering from a Traumatic Past
The events from our childhood have a powerful way of staying with us. They can have ramifications years later, without us even knowing or understanding that the effects are still there. Childhood trauma and addiction is a significant factor in addiction medicine, one that we’re prepared to address at Georgia Addiction Treatment Center. We can identify the circumstances that drive your actions and reactions, help you come to terms with those situations, and guide you toward understanding. Our treatment staff provides intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and partial hospitalization in a safe, comfortable location. Contact a counselor today at 855.952.3546 for a confidential consultation to get started.